Oracle buys Sun!

So it looks like Sun got a few billion more from Oracle than what they rejected from IBM. What could be said about IBM acquiring Sun could be also said about Oracle... At least, regarding software.

Is it a better thing having Oracle buy Sun instead of IBM... On the hardware side, it certainly is. On the Oracle announcement page, they clearly said that they will integrate Sun Hardware with their software to package complete solution.

On the software side, Solaris will continue to thrive. Oracle doesn't have any OSes. Java? I do not fear anything bad for Java, and if they do something bad, at least it is open sourced now and can be forked.

On the database side, I guess that MySQL will not be killed. Oracle have their on database, but MySQL can easily fit into their low end offering, even if MySQL can compete on the high end. They will probably integrate some of the Oracle SQl dialect into it so costumer can migrate more easily. They will probably also integrate MySQL dialect into Oracle to also easy that migration path.

On the app server side, I think it,s a bit less clear... But Glassfish is not really a significant competitor to any other app server on the market. They may keep it as the JEE reference implementation, but if they want to cut cost, they may aswell salvage part of it and let the rest die.

Overall, I think I prefer Sun to be acquired by Oracle instead of IBM... But Oracle has less interest toward open source than IBM, so it will be interesting to see how the merger will proceed and what will happen to Jonathan Schwartz who defined Sun's open source strategy.

The next few month will certainly be interesting.


Sony Playstation 3 (PS3) Blu-Ray failed

Last Friday, I had the unpleasant surprise of noticing the death of my PS3 blu-ray drive.

The last time I saw it alive, was the day before, when my 21 month old daughter played PS1 Dora The Explorer game on it (it does look better on the PS3 than on the PS1 or PS2 ;-) ). The same evening, I launched a software update to update the firmware to the latest 2.70 version. I let the firmware install and shutdown the PS3 when it was finished.

When I got back from work on Friday, my little baby wanted to play Dora again... So I booted up the PS3 and waited for the Dora game to appear in the menu... But when the little disk spinning icon in the top-right corner of the screen stopped spinning, the game did not appear in the menu.

I tried ejecting and reinserting the disk a few time to no avail. Just to confirm that the disk was not the issue, I put it in my PS2 and it worked... I let my little one play Dora and soon forgot about the issue.

Fast forward a few hours later, with two freshly rented blu-ray movie. None of them loaded. I then tried some of my PS3 games... Not working either. Back to the video rental store to exchange the blu-ray disks for DVDs.

On Saturday, I searched on the Internet in hope of finding others with the same issue after upgrading to 2.70. While I did find some problems with this update, none of them related to the blu-ray drive. When searching for ps3 blu-ray failure, I did find a lot of people having the same issue as I.

On Sunday, I decided to call costumer support. They where very friendly (I did made the mistake of asking for service in french, my native language, as they hook you with an English tech support rep and with a translator) but of no real help beside telling me that my warranty was expired (I got the PS3 as a gift in March 2008) and so that my blu-ray drive decided to go dead a few weeks too late. I mentioned that in the Province of Quebec, we have a consumer law that state "38. Goods forming the object of a contract must be durable in normal use for a reasonable length time, having regard to their price, the terms of the contract and the conditions of their use." It means that consumers can expect to be under warranty for a reasonable length of time (which may be greater that the warranty period offered by the manufacturer). The rep stayed silent when hearing this. Like he stayed silent when I specified that the failure happened after updating the firmware. The only thing that he was able to say was that it would cost me 169$CAN +TX to have it serviced and that the shipping will be free! They will send me a box to put the PS3 in and to ship it back to them. That is kind of costly... Almost half the price of the PS3. I could get an XBox 360 for just a little bit more.

So I guess I'll have to pay for the repair, if I want to play games in the near future, and then send them a nasty formal notice to ask them for my money back. I guess I'll have a great chance for winning a suit in the small claim court. There are plenty of jurisprudence and the claim that the PS3 has a 10 year lifespan in the eye of Sony would certainly not hurt!

Here is a Google Search for ps3 blu ray failure.
And here is a link to an Online petition demanding Sony to extend the warranty period for this issue.

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